Okay, let me start this post by saying that I had been looking forward to taking Masala Bhangra at the 13th Street Crunch for weeks! I was literally dying to take it. I took the mini class at Self Workout in the Park, and loved every single second. It is at the addiction level of spinning. Basically it's like a big Indian Wedding vibe, but you're more doing a Bollywood-esque dance. It's an incredible cardio workout, but your having so much fun, it's almost unfair to say it's a workout.
So what happened? I am basically an idiot. I was planning to get to Crunch for the 6:15 MB class at 13th street, but I thought I knew where the 13th street Crunch was, so I didn't look it up or anything. I arrived at the gym, showed my free guest pass, sat through about 10 minutes of the speil by the membership rep, and took a tour of the gym, when I mentioned the class, the rep looked at me blankly. Suddenly I realized that I was at the wrong place. I came to find I was at the Union Square location--for the record the 13th Street location is much closer to Union Square than the Union Square location. So I didn't get to go the class but I put a link to a 7 minute video of Sarina J's class below, there are a ton of them on youtube. Plus, here is an article on Sarina from Cooking Light.
So I was at the gym and ready to go, so the rep suggested the Pilates class. I got the last spot on the list, and although I was a bit disappointed, the rep assured me the class was really intense.
He wasn't kidding. The class was like Pilates on steroids. Ridiculous! The instructor Tina Thompson was super energetic. Every move was done at an incredibly high pace and with endless reps. Tina would say 20 more, and as soon as we got to 20, she would say 20 more, this happened three or four times for each move. Clearly math was not her best subject. So we did over 100 reps of a lot of moves. I actually found this really annoying, if I have 200 reps left I would like to know that rather than hearing 10 and knowing that I am no where near the end and the number has zero significance.
None of the moves were the Pilates moves I knew, but it was definitely an incredible workout. I am surprised my abs aren't killing me today! We did over 200 butterfly kicks while having our upperbody lifted with arms overhead and went directly into 100 leg drops! There was also weights and plates to really work the arms. One of the moves was doing a push up on the weights then jumping legs out and back. By the end of the second arm move, it was all I could do to support myself in plank position.
I did fairly well in the class, I never made it through all the reps of any move, but I did better than most. No one was able to do everything. I definitely left feeling the burn. I will say that the studio was like a sauna, at first I thought it was Bikram Pilates or something, but someone did suggest we turn on the fans, which helped a bit. I mean I was sweating five minutes into the class!
I would definitely recommend Crunch as a gym. There are plenty of locations in Manhattan and tons of great classes. The gyms are nice (not super posh, but more than serviceable)and the staff is incredibly friendly and helpful. Memberships are around $100 a month.
Since my yoga class at Yoga Sutra was not to exciting, I'll give a quick recap. The studio had a great reception area with a cute shop and lounge space. But it had no where to change! Everyone was shoved in a hallway, trying to wriggle in and out of clothes in a tiny space. -5 for bad karma!
The studio itself was nice and the 6:00 class was very full. I arrived early, even though I thought I was going to be late. As I mentioned, I grew up in a family that firmly believes that if you are on time, you are 5 minutes late, so the mere thought of being late sent me into a panic, and I practically sprinted the 40 blocks from work, making it to the studio in a record 25 minutes.
The staff was nice, but the instructor was late so I had to lie around on the mat for longer than I would like. I was thinking about the emails I could be sending if I could just go grab my blackberry from my bag, but I tried to remember where I was and focus on less material things. Namaste Melissa!
Finally the class started. It was a beginner/intermediate vinyasa class, but it was the easiest yoga I have ever taken. The class was fine, a great hour and 20 minute stretch.
-it did not bring me any closer to being a yogi
-it definitely didn't feel like a workout, but I guess that's not the point
-I did feel much longer and leaner when I left
-I still feel well stretched and all the back pain and tightness I have felt lately are gone
-my friend says the lyengar classes are really good
-it was free
So I am still on my quest to find the perfect yoga studio for me, but I have not written off yoga benefits by any means.
Also Betsy recommended a place called Yoga Effects, which was pretty awesome, possible my yoga nirvana. Another reader recommended Prana Power Yoga, which I have to try--the schedule just isn't the best for me!
That that don't kill me, can only make me stronger. I need you to hurry up now, cause I can't wait much longer. Kanye West, Stronger